尼森模联代表团 | High School General Assembly Second Committee C 委员会 | Chair | 浙江省温州中学
An Unforgettable Experience
During winter holiday, I went to America together with my schoolmates in order to attend WFUNA, International Model United Nations 2019.
MUN is a conference where each student represents a country, discusses worldwide issues with others and tries their best to find solutions, just like what the United Nations does. Thus, it is a great chance for us to know about other countries.
Before the conference, I submitted an application for chairmanship. To my surprise, I succeeded in becoming a chair. While feeling excited, I was also worried about my spoken English because I almost didn’t have chance to practice my spoken English before. When I heard it, I started to speak English loudly every day, read articles about Eradication of Poverty and other issues about development which would be discussed in our committee, and try all methods to improve my English ability and enrich academic background knowledge.
The conference arrived soon. In the first day, I met my secretary, who would help my vice chair and me know how to be chairs. She was a considerate woman because after knowing we both are Chinese, she spoke slowly to make sure we could hear every word clearly and ask her when we couldn’t understand what she said.
In the afternoon, an UN expert delivered a speech to all chairs and secretaries. He introduced the MUN briefly and emphasized the importance of making consensus. I was impressed by the examples he gave. If there are one hundred countries participate in the voting, forty-nine countries object while fifty-one countries agree. What will happen? The resolution will be passed, which means the voice of the forty-nine opponents is ignored. “It’s not so good.” He said. ”This is not what we want to achieve. What makes it worse is that if discussions and voting continue in this way, the world will be that fifty-one countries form a bloc and make the decisions on their own because they don’t need the other forty-nine countries. That is terrible. UN wants every single member state to join in the discussions relevant to the world and hope every decision can reflect the voice of all member states. So in recent years more and more decisions have been adopted by consensus. I hope you, chairs, can understand the importance of consensus and please try your best to help delegates meet consensus.”
After understanding the importance of consensus, I not only explain the process of the conference, but also emphasized the significance of consensus for the United Nations when I taught the delegates in the next morning.
But before that, all of the delegates and chairs firstly attended the Opening Plenary held in United Nations Headquarters. Firstly, we watched a special video recorded by the General Secretary of the United Nations for the WIMUN, which made all the delegates excited and the atmosphere at the scene was much more active. Secondly, some delegates delivered speeches on the platform. From their own positions, delegates expressed their ideas and solutions about the topics they would discuss. They all won the applause of the delegates, which also surprised me. Lastly, our General Secretary announced the official commencement of the WIMUN.
After teaching the delegates, we began the Interactive Dialogue with a UN Expert. He is a PhD from Rwanda who works in the United Nations on poverty and development. He has a deep understanding of poverty because he comes from Rwanda, one of the poorest countries in the world. He told us that poverty doesn't just mean no income, it also stands poor education, no clean water, poor infrastructure and so on. At the same time, he cited many cases of poor families he had seen. Poverty can be reflected in all aspects, and it can destroy everything in your life. I was shocked by the poverty and realized that although It is cruel, it is real poverty. Through his speech, I finally realized why the United Nations was founded and the significance of it. I also realized that the MUN is not just an activity, but also carries many expectations.
After that, each delegate had one minute to express their concerns about our topic: Eradication of Poverty and Other Development Issues. Then the bureau concluded the key points of their speeches, listed them on the screen to let all delegates choose to discuss in the following days. We had eighty delegates, but we could just set up four subtopics, so the delegates argued with each other fiercely, hoping to discuss the subtopics which were beneficial to their countries. Realizing the informal consultation would be endless, I held the microphone and asked them to calm down. When everyone was quiet, I said: “Every sub-topic can be expanded. The main meaning of the sub-topic is to sort out the issues under the topic. By the way, we hope after negotiating with others, you can meet consensus.” So, through hard work, four sub-topics were finally identified. They were education, health and nutrition, agriculture, climate and infrastructure to development of society.
After the sub-topics were settled, we broke them into four political groups. The reason why we did this was that every member of the political group had similar interests so it would be more convenient for them to finish draft resolution and meet consensus, and it would also be more efficient if four groups draft resolutions were separated. When they were writing, every half an hour I asked them about their progress, encouraged fast-moving groups, and helped other groups slightly behind. In this course, the leaders of each group played a very important role. With their help, we successfully completed the task before the scheduled time, and I could feel that the relationships between members were more harmonious. After that, we merged the draft resolutions submitted by four groups to make the expression of the final draft more concise.
Then came the process of Informal Consultation to propose and negotiate amendments. This is the nucleus of this meeting. In this segment, delegates of various countries will discuss each word cautiously and fiercely. Delegates put forward their own amendments, debated with the drafting countries about it, and tried to persuade them to adopt the amendments. The drafting countries will also give their decisions after internal discussions. In order to enable the amendment to be adopted, the delegates of the sponsors of the amendment usually choose to make a statement in order to increase the possibility of its adoption by making more countries agree with its amendment. At this stage, non-sponsors of any draft resolution can propose amendments. They can use the information they collected before the meeting to make their amendments more reliable; they can deliver speeches to show their eloquence and academic ability. Therefore, this process is a stage for delegates to give full play to their talents. What impressed me most was an amendment to change “every” to “some”. The two sides argued over the existence of extreme poverty and regional disputes in each country and welfare issues were also addressed during the debate. And it is ended with a piece of information prepared in advance by the drafting country. The statistics in this document clearly points out that "every country has extremely poor areas and populations", so the amendment has not been passed.
In this way, the rest of the time is spent on revising the draft resolution. Finally, we have completed the revision of the draft resolution as a whole, and we have reached a consensus. When I picked up the wooden hammer and knocked on the table to announce the adoption of the draft resolution, everyone cheered ”consensus” together. At that moment, I was very touched, because I saw the unremitting efforts behind the cheers, and saw the tremendous harvest of all of delegates in these three days. I think maybe this is the true meaning of the Model UN.
I thought it was over, but I didn't expect to have a chance to speak in the General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters. As Chairman, I will summarize the meeting on behalf of the whole committee. I was nervous and expectant before going to the stage, but when I stepped on that stage, I suddenly felt no fear after I saw the waving of the delegates below and accepted the applause from the whole audience. It's only two minutes, but it's an indispensable part of my life's efforts.
The Model UN is over, but I believe that the experience of participating in the Model UN will have a lasting impact on me. I will always miss that wonderful time in the following days. I also believe that it will inspire me to move forward bravely in the future.